“She strikes me as a sort of moralistic liberal who has a blind spot for actions that are in her own interest. These are exempt from that cold gaze that she casts over everyone else’s less than perfect actions” – William Kriston, Republican Standard
I couldn’t have done more to be heard. I couldn’t have worded my speeches better. I couldn’t have further perfected my patience. I couldn’t have put up with critique more gracefully.
I couldn’t have fought harder. But we know that women who fight will lose. We women who fight to be heard, who fight for each other to be heard, fight for education, amplification and participation. We are not easily understood. We are “cold.” We are not “transparent.” We are “crooked” and too old and too much ourselves.
Fighting the narrative that is written for us makes us difficult to understand. But is that because of our complexity or because our peers are so completely unlearned in women’s stories that they literally have never truly understood a woman outside her categorical alignments as a woman? We hear men’s stories all day, everyday. We hear stories of their crimes and their misjudgments. But we understand them.
I was not interested in being a woman who was easy to understand. So I was “cold” and I was selfish because I sought what I wanted. “A blindspot for her own self interest” because my interest is my daughter’s interest and her daughter’s interest and every single daughter’s interest.
The problem with writing about us, the women who refuse to be the kind of women who are easily written about, the kind of women who are warm and nurturing, the kind of women who step down from the podium, the kind of women who are quiet and calm, is that you have no words for us. You have “cold” and “nasty” and “crooked” which do not fit us. You have “powerful” and “strong” and “leader,” but those are not meant for us, are they? You wouldn’t use that for us.
I couldn’t have been more powerful. I couldn’t have made us any stronger, together. I couldn’t have led us higher.
- “A Role Congruity Perspective on Prejudice Toward Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin” in Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy vol 11 no 1 2011 Sarah Gervais and Amy Hillard